INDIAN WELLS, California, March 18 (Reuters) - Becoming world number one was secondary to regaining her aggressive nature on court, Russia’s Dinara Safina said after she was knocked out of the WTA event in Indian Wells on Wednesday.
The Russian would have overtaken Serena Williams at the top of the rankings had she reached the final, but instead was beaten 6-7 6-1 6-3 by eighth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the quarter-finals.
“I‘m not thinking about this because if it comes, it comes,” she said of the top ranking. “If I play like this, definitely it will not come.”
She has climbed the rankings in the past year on the back of an aggressive all-round game but said she had got away from that in recent weeks.
“I played three rounds before and I was struggling with every player that I‘m playing,” she said.
”With everyone I played, they were either serving for the set, or had set points. I have to finally start playing my game, because I‘m not playing it.
”I just want for the next tournament (in Miami next week) to finally play my game and play like I’ve been playing like last year.
“Since Australia, I‘m playing defensive, and it’s not me. I just want to play aggressive.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury